In the registry editor, reach
Add a new DWORD key:
AltTabSettings and change its value to 1.
Restart Explorer (Launch the Task Manager, find ‘Windows Explorer’ in the group ‘Windows processes’, right-click it and ‘restart’)
Now Alt+Tab should display only the application icons.
To revert back to the thumbnails, change the registry-key (AltTabSettings) value to 0.
Update (2022-02-03) – Get the classic Alt+Tab navigation using hotkeys:
In order to get the classic style Alt+Tab navigation without needing to edit the registry on Windows 10/11, try the following:
Press & hold down any of the Alt keys > Press & release the other Alt key > Press Tab (while keep the original Alt key pressed)
This invokes the classic Alt+Tab navigation. It is a rather cumbersome way to invoke the classic style Alt+Tab navigation every time, as normally pressing Alt+Tab would still give you the standard Windows 10/11 style navigation among the open windows. So if you want to keep the classic style navigation, it would be better to use the Registry method explained earlier.